Mites are a common cause of parasitic disease in parrots. Blood-sucking mites and burrowing mites are the two main types of mites that can affect parrots. Blood-sucking mites suck blood from the surface of the skin, resulting in anaemia and itchy skin. Burrowing mites produce thick, scaly skin lesions by burrowing in the face, beak and legs. Your parrot can experience secondary bacterial infection, arthritis and even disfigurement if mites are left untreated.
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Things you need
- Bird cage
- Cleaning brush
- Rubber gloves
- Paraffin oil
Move your parrot to a new cage; place it in a different location in your house. House your parrot as far as possible from the mite-infested cage. Place new feeding bowls, perches, swings and toys in the cage.
Clean the mite-infested cage. Clean feeding bowls, perches and swings with disinfectant. Clean areas surrounding the cage with disinfectant, hot water and a cleaning brush. Wear rubber gloves while cleaning.
Discard the parrot's litterbag outside the house. Place it in a sealed garbage container or dumpster.
Take your parrot to the veterinarian for a physical examination to determine the species of the mites. Follow your vet's instructions on treatment.
Consult your vet to prescribe ivermectin, an anti-parasitic medication. Ivermectin effectively eliminates mites, and can be given orally or applied topically.
Administer antibiotics -- to prevent secondary bacterial infections -- if skin lesions are open or oozing.
Apply paraffin oil topically to skin lesions produced by burrowing mites. Do not apply paraffin oil around the eye area; paraffin oil can cause blindness.
Tips and warnings
- Paraffin oil can cause diarrhoea in parrots.
- Your parrot might appear normal even though it is infected by mites. The infection remains latent for long periods, and skin lesions take a long time to develop.
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